Talk:2648: Chemicals

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Does anyone know the significance of nitrobenzen, the compound indicated? Per Wikipedia " The production of nitrobenzene is one of the most dangerous processes conducted in the chemical industry because of the exothermicity of the reaction (ΔH = −117 kJ/mol)" but I wonder if there's something else too. 20:07, 20 July 2022 (UTC)

It's almost certainly the exothermic (read: potentially explosive) reaction that he's going for. 20:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
It is also the formula of Niacin, one of the B vitamins (same atoms, different arrangement) Possibly this is the point: the molecular formula is ambiguous, there are several well-known chemicals with this formula, with very different properties Zeimusu (talk) 20:58, 20 July 2022 (UTC)

I wouldn't know which way to put this, but "make your own molecules" could be parodying the "build your own PC from bits", "compile your own OS distro", "actually cook food from raw ingredients, not packets" or various other supply/consumer things that some people (those who know enough about what they're doing) will actually do, many people (who don't care to know) won't even consider and some (with a little bit of knowledge, but not actually enough) might find the revelation that they could do some things themselves far more compelling than the valid question of whether they should just leap in and try to do it (making all kinds of mistakes/reinventing various wheels along the way) without further research. 21:14, 20 July 2022 (UTC)

There are also a lot of make-your-own-film-developer nerds, which is a little bit closer in that you're using household items to try to recreate the reactions created by otherwise expensive chemicals. 22:37, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
I never even heard of those. I used to live in a household where there was darkroom equipment, even, so know a little of the process of doing that (more so than academic chemistry lessons) but I'd shy away from trying to substitute like that. If it's a thing, then might be worth linking (when and by who it can be). 10:33, 21 July 2022 (UTC)
Megan could also be so used to using "free and open source" software, where you can download the source code, make some minor modifications for your situation, then compile it and use the executable. Here the source code is easy to get but the compiling process can be much more challenging. Nutster (talk) 16:34, 24 July 2022 (UTC)
Equally could be parodying fallacious thinking in corporate procurement that says 'if we build system x in-house, we won't have have to pay some supplier loads of money to do it', which ignores that the supplier is likely leveraging economies of scale by developing for multiple clients, and ignores the costs of supporting and maintaining the system. 12:14, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

It would appear we have a vandal on the loose again. 22:42, 20 July 2022 (UTC)

How exactly do we block these people? 04:05, 21 July 2022 (UTC)
Maybe the an option is to find out which Reddit forum they're launching from and get it banned from Reddit. They'll do that if the forum is brigading too much
i'm pretty sure the vandals are calling us redditors and they don't use reddit themselves -- 06:58, 21 July 2022 (UTC)
It seems to be typical 4chan terminology. Someone who spent some time being influenced there, or maybe one step removed in their own little chan-wannabe dark cave sitting in some other area of the twilight internet taking most of their prompts from the 'real rebels' who are probably just egging them on for their own meta-amusement, but that the stooge(s) would know it. And the repetitious interleving of vandalism modes employed (which are fairly discernible as different until you find the same source has done two or more of the things at once, unifying their identity) indicate a singular whim, if not a singular actor to perform them, who gradually has added new variations to the repertoir of damage to try to be 'clever'. If anything, it just shows how limited they are. 10:33, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

Request for the wiki: require special permissions to post an image that isn't from, and auto-ban any IP that spams racial slurs. Thecat (talk) 04:48, 21 July 2022 (UTC)


I think the site itself is hijacked, since the edits don't show properly. 06:07, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

undo wasn't working apparently so someone undid the vandalism by blanking the page entirely instead of just manually opening an earlier version and restoring the source from there? i don't get it either -- 06:58, 21 July 2022 (UTC)
It's 2 AM and 110 where I live, and most of my computer usage is accounting software. I'm not very smart at wiki stuff. Sorry 07:05, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

I wonder if we should mention the economic difference between small quantities of chemicals typically used in laboratory experiments compared to bulk quantities for industrial manufacturing. The latter often is cost-effective to do in-house, and the current version of the explanation doesn't make that clear at all. We have no idea if Megan and Cueball work in a lab or a factory! 00:37, 21 July 2022 (UTC) Resolved. 00:44, 21 July 2022 (UTC) Seems to be the vandal's IP for doing more than just clicking the undo button, as it also vandalized a few talk pages. Almost everything that looks like typing it wasn't fully automated came from that IP172.70.178.103 07:41, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

Not sure it will make any difference but I blocked the IP for three days. --Kynde (talk) 08:08, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

I have semi protected this page for one day. Have not so much knowledge about how it worked. But set up so only auto confirmed users can edit this page. This was requested in the admin portal... --Kynde (talk) 08:07, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

(RESOLVED) Edit request
The link that says, "more than a hundred compounds and ions" should be, "hundreds of compounds" -- that was my fault because I got the original URL wrong; thanks to whomever fixed it. 08:39, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

I wonder if this could be referencing the video game Spacechem? The premise is exactly this, of chemical engineering using individual atoms to form desired chemicals, and it's the type of nerdy game Randall might enjoy - or at least have heard of. -- 09:54, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

SpaceChem was the first thing I thought of reading the comic.

I removed "Similar to the makerspace movement, community chemical labs have been cropping up, where people work together to perform chemical synthesis and other chemistry acts by sharing community resources," because it doesn't seem to be true; see [1]. Maybe someone can think of something similar but less misleading from that paper? 11:52, 22 July 2022 (UTC)

I actually was a very fringe part of a group synthesizing coronavirus tests at a community lab, and have elesewhere participated in groups with community labs. I have some neurological issues and have not yet found a citation or reviewed your reference, but the statement is indeed very true. 12:04, 22 July 2022 (UTC)
There is a reason that we as a society house exploratory chemistry labs inside high schools, colleges and universities, but we allow co-ops and makerspaces to host mechanical and manufacturing tools. It's mostly the greater extent of safety equipment, protocols, supervision, and training compared to hand tools and shop equipment, but also the huge regulatory burden of storing thousands of precursor chemicals, many hundreds of which are likely to be deadly poisons, explosive, radioactive, drugs of abuse, potent carcinogens and teratogens, or just absurdly expensive. Have a look at this video to get an idea of what a modern synthesis lab is like. 15:25, 22 July 2022 (UTC)
From your link: "In this work I describe the design and impacts of a makerspace at the University of Utah, created specifically for chemical engineering curriculum." -- is your concern the phrasing around "cropping up", that the statement implies more labs here than your experience is that there actually are? 12:10, 22 July 2022 (UTC)
If you read about what they actually use the makerspaces for, it's mostly glasswork and manufacturing of lab equipment, not synthesis at all. 14:07, 22 July 2022 (UTC)
These are the guys I spent time near during the coronavirus outbreak. I don't know where their website is now; I've lost the chats. But given that they were doing it in 2015, and your citation against the sentence actually backs it up, I'm planning to bring the sentence back. 12:34, 22 July 2022 (UTC)
It looks like they closed their public access to the chem lab in 2018 when they became Librecycle. I'm skeptical that a makerspace-style chem lab is insurable in the US, although with a strict training and certification regime, anything is possible. 14:28, 22 July 2022 (UTC)
that's usually solved by invested effort and finances of the people who care about it, even if it means passing local laws, or taking temporary risks. this page has been so vandalised, please just include everyone's viewpoints and work to improve it. 17:51, 22 July 2022 (UTC)

I agree with the edit summary/history suggesting the discussion of Big Pharma is off-topic, but not terribly so. I follow 1RR here in such borderline cases. 14:39, 22 July 2022 (UTC) The revision is excellent. 18:00, 22 July 2022 (UTC)

You could take the "savings" one step further: Instead of buying dozens of different atoms, just buy a bunch of protons, neutrons, and electrons! Only 3 particle types needed! You may need to work out some minor issues with packaging and transport, however. 21:13, 22 July 2022 (UTC)

The difference being that you can buy a mole of carbon but not any useful quantity of those particles :-) 21:34, 22 July 2022 (UTC)